Saturday, August 22, 2015

A True Magical House for Sale


In the past I shared pictures of a number of famous magicians homes. But there is one that I was not aware of until recently. The house was built for Edward Maro, The GREAT MARO and is located in Leland Michigan. It's sits on the shores of North Lake Leelanau and it's breathtaking to say the least.

With any luck, I'll get to see the house in a few weeks as I'm traveling to Michigan to perform in a theatre named after Maro. In fact, I'll be presenting a lecture on Maro while I'm in town as well as doing two shows.

Once the lecture is done, I'll do a nice bio piece on Maro for the blog and hopefully will have a new episode of The Magic Detective Youtube Show to debut.

By the way, the house, dubbed Maronook, after the Great Maro, is for sale. The listing is here,
https://www.coldwellbanker.com/property/320-E-Hywood-Lane-Leland-MI-49654-MLS-1804279

Monday, August 17, 2015

Norman Bigelow has passed.


It's tough when we loose people in magic and it's tougher when they're friends. Yesterday, the magic and escape worlds lost Norman Bigelow. Norm was born August 12th 1944. His real name was Henry Hebert and he later changed it after being adopted. Norm was an apprentice to Frank Renaud who performed professionally as The Great Reno.

Norm was a big fan of Houdini and studied his career inside and out. He had many theories about Houdini's life, some of which were thought to be controversial, but Norm always stood by his opinions. I believe he broke new ground in a number of areas on Houdini and we all owe him a debt of gratitude.

Besides being a student of Houdini and Reno, Norm was an accomplished escape artist. He was also very creative in his field. He gave rise to the 'full view picking' technique which today seems to be the standard used by many escapists.

Norman Bigelow passed away at home on Sunday August 16th 2015 after a long battle with illness. As his wife Janet said, "he was home where he wanted to be."

Norman and I shared many emails and ideas and stories together. He was always an exceptionally creative individual. I was honored when he would email me about history questions, though I'm sure Norm has forgotten more than I will ever know. He was one of a kind, a superb individual and an escape artist of the highest order.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Great Lee Grabel Has Passed


Lee Grabel, one of the magicians in the Royal Dynasty of Magic has died. He passed away July 27th, 2015 at his home. Lee Grabel was to receive the Mantle of Magic from Dante, but Dante died suddenly before an officially ceremony could take place. Because, he was the only one Dante was considering, the Mantle still went to Grabel. Lee passed the Mantle of Magic on to Lance Burton in 1994.

His life story was covered in the wonderful book, The Magic and Illusions of Lee Grabel by Ormond McGill. One thing I would like to mention, Lee Grabel retired from magic in 1959. Having seen him in his later years and still a commanding presence, I personally wish he had continued on all those many years as his magic was wonderful.

I'll have a longer biographer at a later time. For now if you'd like to read more about Lee, please visit his website http://www.leegrabelmagic.com/index.html

A Cool Houdini Connection and The Official Houdini Seance 2015


Imagine going through life and hearing from relatives that you're related to Houdini or someone close to Houdini. That was the situation Robert Strong was in. He had heard from relatives that there was some family connection to Houdini, but no one was quite sure what the connection was. Robert thought he might be related to Jacob Hyman and Joe Hayman. So the search was on earlier this year to discover that branch of his family tree.

He was surprised to find out that it was not the Haymans but rather Sidney Radner who he was related
to! The man who owned the bulk of Houdini props for so many years having purchased and/or acquired them from Houdini's brother Hardeen. Too bad Robert didn't know this before Sid auctioned everything off.

I should mention that Robert Strong is a very busy full time professional magician from Maryland. He currently lives in San Francisco, but travels all over the country presenting his unique brand of comedy magic.

Once Robert found out he was related to the Radners he contacted Sidney's son and a new door opened. Robert is helping out with the Official Houdini Seance this year. Plans are in place for the event to take place in San Francisco at the Brava Theater. There are new websites set up for this event, one of them being a Kickstarter Campaign, though that page is not yet live.

You'll want to be sure to LIKE the Facebook page by going here https://www.facebook.com/houdiniseance

Check out the official webpage for the event here http://www.houdini-seance.com/   (The site is still under construction, so you'll want to check it out from time to time to see the progress)

Finally, the Kickstarter page is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/radicalphysics/236293987?token=744b6390

AND to learn more about Robert Strong, http://strongentertainment.com/

Sunday, July 19, 2015

BREAKING: TCM WILL AIR 'THE GRIM GAME' ON OCTOBER ...



This comes from John Cox over at WildAboutHoudini.com Exciting News!!!WILD ABOUT HARRY: BREAKING: TCM WILL AIR 'THE GRIM GAME' ON OCTOBER ...: "I'm on my way!" Here's the news we've all been waiting for! TCM will air their restoration of Houdini's The...